I originally meant to spotlight an Alice Coltrane track tonight, but I ended up going with something from the opposite end of the spectrum. I somehow got on a late night Linkin Park kick, which then led to a Breaking Benjamin marathon, which turned into a Godsmack extravaganza, until I eventually fell down the rabbit hole of angsty, frosted-tips white dude music and ended up at Sum 41’s “With Me.” This song reminds me of a time that I reluctantly shoveled my parents’ driveway during my freshman year of high school; I had a few days off due to a massive snowstorm, and used my free time to make some extra pocket money and also to really wallow in some angsty, nonspecific feelings that I had for one reason or another. Listening to this song while angrily chopping ice sheets with a flimsy shovel gave me the sensation of being just on the verge of some climactic, cathartic, cinematic life climax, during which I would renounce doubters/confess my feelings/conquer my fears/live my truth/etc/etc. I honestly can’t pinpoint the context for this all-encompassing, world-beating feeling, but I guess that’s just the nature of early high school. Every minor interaction or text message felt consequential, and emotions were constantly jacked up to the highest degree. The melodramatic, major key balladry of “With Me” brings this general feeling back instantly, with an intensity that I find quite startling. Funny enough, the song that I associate second-most strongly with this 9th grade shoveling session is Slipknot’s “Pulse Of The Maggots.” That will have to be a song for another day.